A relationship is derived, on a single-entry interference basis, for the minimum allowable spacing between two satellites as a function of electrical parameters and service-area geometries. For circular beams, universal curves relate the topocentric satellite spacing angle to the service-area separation angle measured at the satellite. The corresponding geocentric spacing depends only weakly on the mean longitude of the two satellites, and this is true also for alliptical antenna beams. As a consequence, if frequency channels are preassigned, the orbital assignment synthesis of a satellite system can be formulated as a mixed-integer programming (MIP) problem or approximated by a linear programming (LP) problem, with the interference protection requirements enforced by constraints while some linear function is optimized. Possible objective-function choices are discussed and explicit formulations are presented for the choice of the sum of the absolute deviations of the orbital locations from some prescribed ideal location set. A test problem is posed consisting of six service areas, each served by one satellite, all using elliptical antenna beams and the same frequency channels. Numerical results are given for the three ideal location prescriptions for both the MIP and LP formulations. The resulting scenarios also satisfy reasonable aggregate interference protection requirements.